Municipalities of Germany

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Municipalities (German : Gemeinden, singular Gemeinde) are the lowest level of official territorial division in Germany. This is most commonly the third level of territorial division, ranking after the Land (state) and Kreis (district). A Gemeinde is one level lower in those states which also include Regierungsbezirke (singular: Regierungsbezirk) as an intermediate territorial division. The Gemeinde is one level higher if it is not part of a Samtgemeinde. Only 10 municipalities in Germany have fifth level administrative subdivisions and all of them are in Bavaria. The highest degree of autonomy may be found in the Gemeinden which are not part of a Kreis. These Gemeinden are referred to as Kreisfreie Städte or Stadtkreise , sometimes translated as having "city status". This can be the case even for small municipalities. However, many smaller municipalities have lost this city status in various administrative reforms in the last 40 years[ clarification needed ] when they were incorporated into a Kreis. In some states they retained a higher measure of autonomy than the other municipalities of the Kreis (e.g. Große Kreisstadt). Municipalities titled Stadt (town or city) are urban municipalities while those titled Gemeinde are classified as rural municipalities.



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With more than 3,400,000 inhabitants, the most populated municipality of Germany is the city of Berlin; and the least populated is Gröde in Schleswig-Holstein. The cities of Aachen and Saarbrücken have a special status, which is why the numbers in the respective states North Rhine-Westphalia and Saarland appear in brackets in the table.

Municipalities per federal state

List updated on August 1, 2009.

Federal stateMunicipalitiesMunicipalities
that are
urban districts
Average no. of
inhabitants [1]
area (km²) [2]
List (Cities, Towns,
Baden-Württemberg 1,10199,76432.41 C, T, M
Bavaria 2,056256,09033.03 C, T, M
Berlin 113,416,255891.02 Berlin
Brandenburg 41946,05270.36 C, T, M
Bremen 22331,541202.14 Bremen, Bremerhaven
Hamburg 111,770,629755.16 Hamburg
Hesse 426514,25548.80 C, T, M
Lower Saxony 1,02297,80045.25 C, T, M
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 81822,05328.34 C, T, M
North Rhine-Westphalia 39622 (23)45,44686.08 C, T, M
Rhineland-Palatinate 2,306121,7548.61 C, T, M
Saarland 52(1)19,93549.40 C, T, M
Saxony 49138,59537.51 C, T, M
Saxony-Anhalt 85132,83524.03 C, T, M
Schleswig-Holstein 1,11642,54214.07 C, T, M
Thuringia 95562,39716.93 C, T, M
Germany 12,013108 (110)6,84429.35 C, T, M

See also

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  1. Source: Statistisches Bundesamt (as of December 31, 2007)
  2. Source: Statistisches Bundesamt (as of December 31, 2006), excluding the municipality-free areas